Raising the bar
The New Hampshire Heptathlon took an unexpected twist Sunday with the emergence of Lebanon freshman Corinne Kennedy. Kennedy won three of the seven events at Nashua High School South to take first place with 4,284 points.
Kennedy’s immediate success was a surprise to many, including second-place finisher Letti Hibbard from Bedford, who finished with 4,187 points and won Sunday’s long jump with a 5.29-meter leap.
Hibbard was aware of her competition entering the heptathlon, but Kennedy was one that caught her off guard.
“I was surprised because I only ever saw Corinne doing hurdles and I’ve never seen her do other events, but she actually did amazing,” she said. “She’s only a freshman so I’m really surprised.
“Coming into it ,I knew a couple of girls from last year who weren’t going to be here, so I was pretty confident in first place, but I’m very happy with my placing compared to Corinne.”
Hibbard and Kennedy spent most of the weekend jostling for the top spot, but the freshman’s first-place finish in Sunday’s 800 – the final event of the heptathlon – with a time of 2:18.49, was enough to put her ahead.
Hibbard was still pleased with her individual performance.
“I exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I PR’d in almost everything so I’m really happy.”
Hollis Brookline’s Lindsey Beauregard took third place with 3,850 points and Bedford’s Anika Hibbard’s 3,619 points put her in fourth.
South’s Bridget Murphy (3,120 points, 14th place), North’s Nicole DeAlmeida (3,025, 18th), Alvirne’s Marie Morrier (2,916, 22nd) and North’s Amanda Stumpf (2,776, 23rd) all reached the top 25.
top local in Decathlon
Alex Tamulonis finished the first day of the New Hampshire Decathlon feeling confident.
The Milford senior exceeded his expectations in all five of the first-day events and found himself in seventh place with 2,833 points, putting himself in a good position to achieve his goal of a top 10 finish.
On Sunday, fatigue caught up with Tamulonis. But he apparently wasn’t the only one.
Despite what he considered a disappointing day, particularly in the pole vault, where he finished two feet below his expectations at 3.96 meters, Tamulonis stayed at No. 7 in the boys standings at the end of the weekend.
But to Tamulonis, his 19.26 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, 24.05-meter discus toss, 32.78-meter javelin throw and 4:25.93 second 1,500-meter run wasn’t enough to leave him satisfied with his performance.
“I was a little sore and tired and didn’t do quite as well as I was hoping in some of the things,” Tamulonis said. “I did good in the throwing for what I was expecting. I was hoping to jump really high in pole vault but that didn’t happen, just didn’t have a good day.”
Tamulonis’s drop-off from day one to day two isn’t out of the ordinary in what can be a long and exhausting decathlon, but it didn’t do much to change the top of the leader board, as Londonderry’s Starlin Ortiz held on for first place with 5,836 points thanks in large part to his first-place finish in the hurdles in 15 seconds.
The rest of the top three remained unchanged as well, as Lebanon’s Will Merchant finished second overall with 5,772 points and Monadnock’s Quentin Bazarnicki took third with 5,731 points. Nashua North’s William Goulding finished in 10th with 4,955 points.
Milford’s Ian Michaud (4,690 points, 16th place) and Evan Perron (4,231, 23rd) and Bishop Guertin’s Gabe Madonna (4,173, 25th) also cracked the top 25 for the weekend.